Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Easter is just around the corner. While the world will be distracted by bunnies and colored eggs, for a Believer this time of year is so much more than that. Its about hope. Its about a few days 2000 years ago when those who followed Christ were shrouded in uncertainty, and captivated by a heaviness which would eventually be drowned out by an event that would serve to once again fill their lives with hope.

The disciples are often looked down upon when it comes to how they reacted when Jesus was arrested. They all jumped ship. It was every man for himself. Each one of them ran for their lives and abandoned this friend who they believed to be the "One" sent from God. Yet, I'm not sure if the sandals were on my feet, if I would have acted any different. I would like to think that I would have gone down with Him. I would love to imagine that while He was being beaten that He would glance over at me and smile as I too were there with Him undergoing the same inhumane torture. However, the truth remains that I feel a bit more like Peter than I do a sacrificial martyr.

I can't fathom the emotions of His followers watching all this play out. Sure, He had told them time and time again about this very moment, but as they took it all in it appears none of it made any sense. This "One" sent from God had been arrested and was to be beaten and brutally killed. Their Hero, their Messiah, the One who had come to save them appeared unable to save Himself. And then, when it was all over and He had breathed His last breath I can only imagine the sinking feeling in their hearts as all hope seemed lost.

Have you ever wondered what their conversations were like in the hours and days immediately following this horrific event? Was there any of them full of hope trying to encourage the others? Or, were they all puzzled and confused by it all? Perhaps, if you would have been there, you would have tried to remind everyone about everything He as said about this event. I'm thinking had it been me, that disillusionment might cloud everything. I'm just being real as I look back at my life and those moments when I've been hammered with circumstances that flooded my mind with questions. Most of the time the uncertainty and disillusionment of the moment blind me to the promises that I know He's spoken. I'm thinking like Peter, I might just pick my net back up and head out fishing.

For three days those followers of Christ were left in that state. Not knowing, not understanding, not certain of anything anymore. Then all of a sudden in runs the women who had just visited the tomb only to find it abandoned. Now, picture yourself in that moment. What emotions are you faced with? If you're still sitting around feeling defeated and playing that part of a victim perhaps you're filled with thoughts that someone has stolen the body. Or, maybe just maybe, your heart starts to pump a little faster and the adrenaline begins to pump through your veins as you think maybe just maybe He has risen just like He said. Running to the tomb your mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and imaginations and when you get there its just as the women proclaimed. Now, imagine seeing Him. Not, dead but alive.

Do you cry? Do you laugh? Do you shout? Do you run to Him? Are you numb? Are you overwhelmed and your emotions take over? Perhaps its all of these and more, at least I'm pretty sure that's my reaction. My Friend, my Hero, my Savior is alive! Hopelessness has given way to an unbelievable, unimaginable hope.

As I sit here thinking, that's just it. I mean, coming back to 2011 that truth hasn't changed. It's as real today as that very moment 2000 years ago. My Friend, my Hero, my Savior is alive! He's alive! That empty tomb speaks hope to me today just like it did to those who followed Him back then. Hope that makes me take on life today. Hope that makes me confident that whatever hammers me today can't overshadow the truth that my Redeemer lives. Hope that whatever is going on in the world around me pales in comparison to knowing that my Savior is on the throne and forever will be. Hope that the sin in my life past, present, and future was carried to the cross and the punishment for it all was laid on Him. Hope that forgiveness has been granted to me, mercy has protected me, and grace has saved me. Hope that who I was, is no longer who I am, and who I am is now completely the result of Him in me. Hope that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Hope that in all things He causes me to triumph. Hope that even in death I win. Hope that freedom reigns in my life. Hope that one day I will see the One who has showered my life with this very hope.

And the world is distracted by bunnies and colored eggs. What a shame when there is so much more. Hope, that's what this season is about. It's about an empty tomb that screams hope to whatever you're up against and wherever you are in life. It's not just a religious holiday, its a celebration about the One who Was, and Is, and IS to come. Nope, this weekend isn't about a bunny, it's about a Lamb and a Lion. It's about the Lamb who was slain and lives again. It's about the Lion who's return is moving closer with each passing day. As far as I'm concerned the world can have their Easter and I'll take the empty tomb and the hope it speaks to me!

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